This holiday season, Microsoft gave passengers at several U.S. airports the gift of free photos with Santa Claus. From Nov. 23 to Dec. 21, the brand set up its Holiday Photos on the Fly booth at 26 airports where it snapped holiday photos of consumers and then enhanced them on-site using Windows Live photo features, including Photo Fusion and Photo Mail.
“There are features within Windows Live that people just don’t know about, including Windows Live Essentials which is actually free, so our goal was to get the word out there and let people touch and feel the product,” Lisa Sikora, senior marketing manager at Microsoft, told Buzz. “When we let people experience our product we always see such a brand preference shift and huge numbers.”
Microsoft teamed up with Southwest Airlines to activate the seven-minute experience, which was kept short enough so that it wouldn’t interfere with passengers’ flight schedules. When travelers walked up to the booth they received an eight-page holiday guide with information about the product, the program and its partners, including AT&T, Epson and Samsung, and a $20 discount offer for their next Southwest Airlines trip. The guide also provided a folder where consumers could save their printed photo.
Once passengers took their portrait with St. Nick, they were directed to six kiosks (provided by Houston, Texas-based Catch the Moment) where brand ambassadors wearing Santa hats demonstrated how Photo Fusion takes the best elements of a variety of photos to create the perfect shot and then, using Photo Mail, how the images can be sent to family and friends without clogging up email inboxes. The photos are saved on Microsoft’s SkyDrive online date storage service so consumers could download them at home in addition to receiving a printed copy on-site. Passengers who couldn’t stay for the whole experience took the photo with Santa and used the code on the back of their holiday guides to customize and retrieve the photo using Windows Live features on freeholidayphotos.com.
In addition to airports, the photo experience was also available at Bryant Park in New York City and Skyline Park in Denver where Southwest Airlines has its Porch experience set up, as well as at the Samsung Experience inside the Time Warner Center in New York City. Agency: 206 Inc., Seattle.